Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country in Europe and its population comprises mainly of German, Austrian and Swiss. Though most people speak in Alemannic, which is a highly divergent dialect of German, the official language of this tiny nation is German. Liechtenstein is surrounded by River Rhine in the west and Alps in the other side.
Though Liechtenstein is a tiny nation and have limited natural resources, in recent times it has become a well organised industrialised, free-enterprise economy. Through out its history it avoided direct combat with other nations of Europe due to its strategic location.
Liechtenstein is one of those countries whose landscapes are ideal for winter sports. This picturesque country enjoys continental climate where winter is usually cold and summers are warm cosy.
With panoramic natural scenes all around, Liechtenstein is a country occupying a smaller geographical area in the Upper Rhine valley of the European Alps. Instead of sharing its border with Germany, this country has River Rhine as the western boundary. The eastern side of Liechtenstein is featured by the Grauspitz, highest peak reaching 2,599 m.
Best suited for winter sports during the winter, Liechtenstein has a alpine location with southerly winds making the climate of Liechtenstein rather mild. Liechtenstein enjoys continental climate with chilly winter’s accompanied by frequent raining and snowfall. Summer hails in this small landlocked country with warm and humid conditions. Waterproofs are required throughout the year.
Liechtenstein’ history is colorful as well as eventful. Legends about its being a part of the Roman province of Raetia during the ancient times are abundant. It is also said that the country derived its name from the the Castle Liechtenstein, which is nestled in the distant land of Lower Austria. The dynasty of Liechtenstein had control over the expanded lands of Moravia, Lower Austria and Styria. Senior feudal lords, belonging to the lineage of the Habsburg family, ruled thse lands with the fiefs.
After making requests for power equivalent to that of an Imperial government, the Habsburg family bought the minuscule counties of Schellenberg and Vaduz (in 1699 and 1712) from an agnatic line of the Habsburg dynasty. The principality with the name "Liechtenstein" was created on January 23rd, 1719, by uniting the county of Vaduz with the barony of Schellenburg. On the same date Liechtenstein became a sovereign state of the Holy Roman Empire. However, in accordance with the testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases, the Princes of Liechtenstein rarely visited their country but were active in the service of the Hapsburg monarchy.
Liechtenstein acquired a ' disputed sovereignty' following the attack on Holy Roman Empire by France in 1806. This translated into the fact that the country was liberated from any obligations to any feudal lord beyond its borders. Liechtenstein became independent formally in 1866, after having been a member of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866.
During the 19th and 20th cent, Liechtenstein was bereft of any major political upheavals, except the World Wars. Though it remained neutral, the conlicts of first World War wreaked havoc for Liechtenstein’s economy. The country united with Switzerland in a Customs Union and was represented by Switzerland abroad. After World War II, Liechtenstein became increasingly valuable as a financial center, and the nation became more prosperous. In 1989, Prince Hans Adam II succeeded his father to the throne, and in 1996 settled a long-running dispute with Russia. Liechtenstein joined the UN in 1990, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1991, and both the European Economic Area (EEA) and the World Trade Organization in 1995.
In spite of struggling with limited resources, this small country has made significant developement in terms of economy within a short period of time and has made a niche for it as a well developed, industrialised and free-enterprise economy. This country features the maximum tax rate to up to 18 percent along with convenient Rules of Incorporation.
As a result more than 70,000 holding companies have landed their nominal offices here in Liechtenstein, contributing a lion share in the total revene generation of the company. The import rates of the country are also on the rise with a staggering 90% (its energy requirements).
Still continuing with the “one-man“ style of rule, Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy and is headed by its ruling prince or Furst. During an expanded time frame of 59 years from 1938 to 1997, Liechtenstein had a coalition government with two major parties in the parliament. The cabinet now includes 5 members in charge of the day-to-day political chores along with 25 reprsentatives to be selected by the citizens through vote.